Press Releases

    Note to Correspondents

    Note No. 5705
    8 January 2002

    SECRETARY-GENERAL TO CONVENE FIRST MEETING
    OF GLOBAL COMPACT ADVISORY COUNCIL
    AT HEADQUARTERS 8 JANUARY

    NEW YORK, 7 January (UN Headquarters) -- Consolidating his efforts to make globalization work for the world’s people, Secretary-General Kofi Annan will convene a meeting at Headquarters Tuesday, 8 January, of senior business executives, international labour leaders and civil society organizations who together will comprise the new Advisory Council for the Global Compact -- an initiative which promotes action in support of internationally agreed principles on human rights, labour rights and the environment.

    Following their deliberations, key members of the Advisory Council will hold a press briefing at the United Nations in room 226 at 2:30 p.m. Participants will include Bob Hormats, Vice Chairman of Goldman Sachs; Barabra Krumsiek, President and CEO of Calvert; Sam Jonah, Chief Executive of Ashanti Goldfields Company Limited; Bill Jordan, General Secretary of the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions; and Achim Steiner, Director-General of the World Conservation Union.

    The Secretary-General decided to form the Advisory Council -- the first governing body in United Nations history to bring together activists and corporate administrators to deal with a wide range of issues -- in response to the growing success of the Global Compact. Since its launch in July, 1999, the Compact has attracted the participation of several hundred companies, labour groups, academic institutions and civil society organizations. Each week, dozens more express their interest in joining.

    The Compact’s growth in size has been matched by a considerably expanded scope. Acting individually or in partnership with United Nations agencies and civil society organizations, participating companies have launched programmes to combat HIV/AIDS; stamp out enforced child labour; increase adult literacy; provide improved health care to rural communities; protect perishable environmental resources; end racism and discrimination in the workplace; and expand access to information technology.

    These results-oriented initiatives have been accompanied by Global Compact policy dialogues which bring together key players to grapple with pressing and sensitive concerns, such as the ethical dilemmas posed by business operations in zones of conflict. The Global Compact has also created an interactive Web-based Learning Forum, where participating companies can share their experiences in aiming to reach the Compact’s objectives.

    Amid this surge of activities, the Secretary-General is convening the Advisory Council to focus renewed attention on central questions of governance and strategy. Using their considerable collective experience in the fields of international commerce as well as labour and human rights, members will discuss key long-term issues geared towards protecting and strengthening this flourishing initiative.

    One of the Advisory Council’s key tasks will be to propose better standards of participation in order to improve the Compact’s effectiveness and to safeguard its integrity. Council members will also serve as champions of the Compact while advising the Secretary-General and his staff on key issues of strategy and policy.

    In practical terms, this will require the experts, who will act in their personal capacity, to consider measures to ensure that a CEO remains engaged after pledging his or her commitment to the Compact. The Advisory Council will also consider what types of corporate behaviour are inconsistent with the spirit of the Global Compact.

    In addition to answering long-term policy questions, Advisory Council members will discuss further developing the Compact’s primary areas of activity. They will also furnish proposals on how to improve the initiative’s reach and effectiveness in their respective country, region or segment of society.

    For more information, contact Tim Wall, of the Development and Human Rights Section, Department of Public Information, on (1-212) 963 5851 or e-mail wallt@un.org.

    Brief Biographical Information on Members of Advisory Council

    Business Leaders

    Rolf-E. Breuer, CEO of Deutsche Bank AG, has been Spokesman of the Group Board of Deutsche Bank since May 1997. In addition, he serves as Chairman of Private Clients and Assets Management and of Corporate Investments. He first joined Deutsche Bank in 1956. He went on to study law and obtained his doctorate in 1967, having rejoined the Bank’s Karsruhe Branch the year before. Over the course of his career, he held numerous senior positions at the Bank. As Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Deutsche Börse AG, Mr. Breuer has helped to advance the modernization of German capital markets and to improve their positioning in Europe. He is a member of the supervisory boards of Bertelsmann, Deutsche Lufthansa, E.ON, Munich Re and Siemens.

    Robert Hormats, Vice Chairman of Goldman Sachs, joined the company in 1982 as a Vice President in the Investment Banking Division and a Director of Goldman Sachs International. Prior to that, he worked for the United States Government as Senior Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic and Business Affairs at the Department of State, Ambassador and Deputy United States Trade Representative, and Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs. Previously, he had served as a Senior Staff Member for International Economic Affairs on the National Security Council. Among the positions he currently holds, Mr. Hormats is a board member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Engelhard Hanovia, Inc., and Human Genome Sciences, Inc.

    Sam Jonah, Chief Executive Officer, Ashanti Goldfields Company Limited, supervised the transformation of Ashanti Goldfields into a mining multinational, with gold production up from 240,000 ounces each year to over 1.6 million ounces in over 10 years. Currently, the Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast, Ghana, Mr. Jonah serves on various boards including Lonmin plc, the Commonwealth African Investment Fund and President Thabo Mbeki’s International Investment Advisory Council of South Africa. He holds several awards and honours, including honorary Doctor of Science from the Camborne School of Mines and the University of Exeter, United Kingdom.

    Namakau Kaingu, CEO of Kaingu Mines, is the sole proprietor of Kaingu Gems. She was elected regional president of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Women in Mining Trust, established in 1996. In addition, she is a member of the African Women Entrepreneurship Leadership Academy.

    Barbara Krumsiek, President and CEO, Calvert Group, Ltd., a mutual fund and investment management firm based in Bethesda, Maryland. With $7.5 billion in assets under management, Calvert is a leader in fixed income investment management and socially responsible investing. Ms. Krumsiek's 27-year career in investment management includes prior service as Managing Director for Alliance Capital Management's mutual fund arm. She is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Douglass College, Rutgers University, and received her masters degree in mathematics from New York University.

    Sir Mark M. Moody-Stewart, retired CEO, Royal Dutch Shell, was Chairman of the Royal Dutch Shell Group of companies from 1998-2001. He was also chairman of the United Kingdom parent of The "Shell" Transport and Trading Company from 1997 to 2001, after having served six years as both managing director of Shell Transport and managing director of the Royal Dutch/Shell Group of Companies, where he remains on the board. He is also a Director of HSBC Holdings plc. and a Vice President of the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. He was Co-Chairman of the G-8 Task Force on Renewable Energy in 2000 and 2001. Mr. Moody-Stewart is the Chairman of Business Action for Sustainable Development, an initiative of the International Chamber of Commerce and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development preparing the involvement of business in the upcoming World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg.

    N. R. Narayana Murthy, Chairman and CEO, Infosys Technologies Limited, founded Infosys in 1981 along with six software professionals. He was a member of the team that designed real time operating system for handling air cargo for Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris. He was also the President of National Association of Software and Service Companies from 1992 to 1994. Mr. Murthy is a member of the National Information Technology Task Force of India, and also of the Prime Minister's Council on Trade and Industry. He is a Director on the board of the Reserve Bank of India. Mr. Murthy has received several honours and awards, including the ET Businessperson of the Year Award (2000-2001). He is currently a member of the Asia Society's International Council and the Board of Councilors of the University of Southern California School of Engineering. He is also on the Wharton Business School's Asian Executive Board.

    Wolfgang Sauer, retired CEO of VW of Brazil, began his career at the representation of Robert Bosch serving in various capacities before being promoted to Chief Executive Officer and President of Robert Bosch in Brazil. In 1973 he left the Bosch Group to start working with Audi in Ingolstadt, as Chief Executive Officer and President. That year, he became President of Volkswagen do Brasil, managing it until June 1987, when the Autolatina was founded. During the late 1980s, he was President of Autolatina, serving later as President of its Consulting Group. He has held numerous other positions, including President of the German-Brazilian Commercial Chamber and the cultural foundation Fundacao Bienal de Sao Paulo. Since 1991 he has been managing his own consulting company, the WS Consult–Wolfgang Sauer Consultores Associados S/C Lltda. From 1996 until 1998 he was advisor to the Government of Paraguay on planning the country’s industrialization, serving the same function during that period for the President of Bolivia.

    Marjorie Scardino, CEO, Pearson, the international media group. Until January 1997, she was chief executive of The Economist Group. Prior to 1985, she was managing partner in a Savannah, Georgia, law firm and publisher and founder, with her husband, of the Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper The Georgia Gazette. Mrs. Scardino is also a non-executive director of Nokia Corporation and a member of a number of charitable and advisory boards. She has been made an Honorary Fellow of the London Business School, and has received numerous awards. David Bell, became a director of Pearson in March 1996. He is Chairman of the Financial Times Group, having been chief executive of the Financial Times since 1993. In July 1998 he was appointed Pearson’s director for people. In addition to this he is a non-executive director of Vitec Group plc, The Windmill Partnership and Zen Research, Chairman of the Millennium Bridge Trust, Chairman of Common Purpose Europe and a Civil Service Commissioner. He is also Chairman of the International Youth Foundation, a Patron of the Ambache Chamber Orchestra, and a member of the Development Board of the Royal National Theatre.

    Marjorie Yang, Chairman of the Esquel Group of Companies, considered the world's leading textile and garment manufacturer with operations throughout the world. Raised in Hong Kong and educated at MIT and Harvard in the Untied States, Ms. Yang returned to Hong Kong in 1978 and became a founding member of Esquel. She was named Chairman of the group in 1995. In 1998, she was elected to the board of the Gillette Company. In June 2001, Ms. Yang was elected a Member of the MIT Corporation. Ms. Yang is a Member of the Standing Committee of the People’s Political Consultative Conference of Xinjiang. She has been very involved with the MBA programs at Harvard, MIT, Tsinghua, Fudan and Lingnan Universities, and sits on the various advisory boards of those institutions.

    Labour Leaders

    Fred Higgs, General Secretary of the International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine and General Workers' Unions, considered one of the foremost labour internationals with some 20 million members. Mr. Higgs has been a member of ICEM British affiliate the Transport and General Workers’ Union (T&G) since 1967. He served as a T&G shop steward at Chloride Battery, and was the union’s senior company representative there for 11 years. Appointed as a full-time union officer in 1979, he went on to become the T&G National Secretary for the chemical, oil and rubber sectors. He later became Vice-President both of the ICEM and its European sister organisation. He served on the European Commission’s Ad Hoc Advisory Committee on the Chemical Industry. Among other positions, he worked as an influential member of advisory bodies on toxic substances, plastics, biotechnology and oil, as well the Energy Committee of the Trades Union Congress. Workplace health and safety featured strongly in his British work, through his membership of both official and voluntary industrial safety bodies.

    Bill Jordan, General Secretary of the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions, the largest international trade union organisation, representing 225 affiliated organisations in 148 countries with 157 million members. Mr. Jordan, who has been its General Secretary since December 1994, started his career as a machine tool fitter in 1951, subsequently joining the engineering union and eventually serving as shop steward, Convenor at GKN and District President. In 1977 he was elected as the Divisional Organiser for the West Midlands division, the largest in the union. In 1986, became National President of the Amalgamated Engineering Union. Mr. Jordan was also a member of the General Council of the British Trades Unions Congress. He was President of the European Metalworkers' Federation and Executive member of the International Metalworkers' Federation and the European Trade Union Confederation. Among other posts, he is currently a member of the Victim Support Advisory Committee and Board member of English Partnership. He has Honorary Doctorates from the University of Central England and the University of Cranfield. In 2000, he was appointed to the United Kingdom House of Lords.

    Leaders of Civil Society Organizations/Members of Academia

    Irene Khan, Secretary-General, Amnesty International, began that position in August 2001. Previously, she had an extensive career in various senior positions at the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), which she joined in 1980. Over the years, she served the agency in different parts of the world, including Southeast Asia, Pakistan, the United Kingdom and Ireland. In 1990, she was appointed Senior Executive Officer in the Office of the High Commissioner, and worked in that capacity on policy, legal and human rights issues before being named Chief of Mission for the UNHCR office in India. From 1998 to 1999, she headed UNHCR’s Centre for Documentation and Research, before becoming Deputy Director in the agency’s Department of International Protection.

    Jessica Matthews, President of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, was a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations from 1993 to 1997. Prior to that, she was founding vice president and director of research of the World Resources Institute. She served on the editorial board of The Washington Post in the early 1980s, later becoming a weekly columnist. From 1977 to 1979, she was director of the Office of Global Issues of the National Security Council. In 1993, she returned to government as deputy to the Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs. Among others, she is also a trustee of the Rockefeller Foundation, the Century Foundation, the Nuclear Threat Initiative, and the Transportation Policy Project. She is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Trilateral Commission, and the international advisory board of the Center for International Development at Harvard University.

    Professor John Ruggie, Evron and Jeane Kirkpatrick Professor of International Affairs at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, and a fellow of its Center for Business and Government, served from 1997-2001 as Assistant Secretary-General and chief adviser for strategic planning to United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan. Prior to joining the United Nations, he was Dean of Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. He had also been on the faculty of the University of California’s Berkeley and San Diego campuses, and directed the University of California systemwide Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation. He has published six books and some 50 articles in professional journals and books. A fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Mr. Ruggie has received the International Studies Association’s Distinguished Scholar Award and the American Political Science Association’s Hubert H. Humphrey Award. Among other positions, he is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the National Council of UNA-USA.

    Achim Steiner, Director General of the World Conservation Union (IUCN), a unique global partnership aimed at influencing, encouraging and assisting societies throughout the world to conserve the integrity and diversity of nature and to ensure that any use of natural resources is equitable and ecologically sustainable. A German national born in Brazil, Mr. Steiner served previously as Secretary-General of the World Commission on Dams, bringing together the public sector, civil society and the private sector in a global policy process on dams and development. Prior to that, he worked as Chief Technical Advisor with GTZ and the Mekong River Commission and was Senior Policy Advisor of IUCN’s Global Policy Unit, developing new partnerships between the conservation community, the World Bank and the United Nations system. His professional career also includes extended field assignments in Southern Africa and South Asia.

    Sophia Tickell, Senior Policy Adviser of Oxfam, is responsible for development and management of Oxfam’s strategy on corporate social responsibility. She has worked on extractive companies and the social and economic impacts of the oil industry. She also works on pharmaceutical companies and the promotion of poor people’s access to essential drugs. The team she manages has also worked extensively on labour rights. She is a founding member of the Resource Centre on the Social Dimensions of Business and a member of SustainAbility’s Council.

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